Target: Pan Tieyong, manager of a parking lot in Hangzhou, China
Goal: End the perpetuation of sexist stereotypes promoted by parking spaces for “women who can’t reverse.”
A parking lot in Hangzhou, China has recently introduced extra-wide parking spaces outlined in pink and featuring the symbol for female. The spaces are designated for “women who can’t reverse.” Sign the petition and call out the ridiculous sexism inherent in this addition to Hangzhou’s parking lots.
Lot manager Pan Tieyong said that there are currently only eight such spaces in the lot of 370 spots, but that more might be added later. The spots are 50 percent larger than normal and are targeted exclusively at women, not toward inexperienced or poor drivers of any gender. Pan said that the spaces are popular and that management may add more spots, “especially for handicapped people and female drivers.” However, the spots have drawn criticism from users on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.
The conflation of women and poor drivers promotes sexist stereotypes and ridicules women, undermining their ability to perform even the most basic tasks without facing derision, mockery, or condescension. Furthermore, the spots diminish available spaces, creating an inconvenience for everyone, and would be difficult to enforce. They essentially only exist as a glaring reminder that women are perceived to be incompetent and irresponsible.
Such a blatant and ridiculous display of sexism is completely senseless. Sign the petition and urge that this joke of an “improvement” be done away with immediately.
Dear Mr. Pan,
I am writing to express my disbelief and disgust that in the year 2016, female drivers are still being patronized and mocked by extra-wide “women’s only” parking spaces. I urge you to do away with these sexist “improvements” as quickly as possible.
These women’s only spaces inextricably link women, even women who opt out of using the spaces, with incompetence and irresponsibility. The idea that only women have trouble with driving is insulting, outdated, and inaccurate; the fact that no such spaces exist for newly-licensed drivers is proof of that. Instead of helping women, these spaces only serve to insult and disparage them.
Furthermore, the spaces take up valuable space in the parking lots, and the women-only restriction will be nearly impossible to enforce. In short, they only serve to highlight the supposed incompetence of women drivers without serving any practical purpose.
I urge you to recognize and address this sexist “innovation” by removing the spaces as soon as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: radcliffe dacanay